What people say they want, and what they say they'd do doesn't always tally with reality. Gerry McGovern warns of the dangers of using focus groups to drive website content with a great example.
This idea isn't new. Jakob Nielsen wrote about it almost ten years ago.
Personally, when it comes to listening to opinions, I've always given most attention to the people who are customer facing - the receptionist, the person looking after the general phone line or the generic enquiries@... email account. It's these people who gain the most from a more effective, customer facing website.
Why focus groups don't work - article by Gerry McGovern
First Rule of Usability? Don't Listen to Users - article by Jakob Nielsen